HC Deb 25 February 2002 vol 380 cc744-5W
Mr. Cousins

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the assessed contribution of parents to student fees and loans for 2002–03 implied by her proposals for new loan, grant and fees rates for 2002–03 is; and if she will set out the allowances against gross parental income she proposes to allow in 2002–03, including those for other dependent children, which determine the residual income for assessment of loans and fees. [31471]

Margaret Hodge

The residual income threshold above which parents are assessed for a contribution towards higher education student tuition fees and loans is raised annually in line with the latest forecast change in the Retail Prices Index. In 2002–03, parents will not be expected to contribute towards their children's fees or living costs support if their residual income is below £20,480. If their residual income is higher than £20,480, they will be expected to make a contribution towards their children's fees, rising with every pound of residual income. The maximum level of contribution towards tuition fees will be £1,100, which is broadly 25 per cent. of full tuition costs. If their residual income is higher than £30,502, parents will be expected to contribute towards their children's living costs support as well as their fees.

The calculation of a parent's residual income in 2002–03 will allow the following specified sums to be deducted from the parent's gross income:

  • In respect of any person other than the student who is dependent upon the parent: £2,360
  • If the parent is also a student and is eligible for support: £950
  • If the parent being assessed is incapacitated: £1,850
  • If the parent has a cohabiting spouse or cohabiting partner who is incapacitated and is financially dependent upon the assessed parent: £1,850.